Civic Center undergoing ‘complete facelift’


City officials are hoping the renovated Civic Center will be open by late fall or early winter 2018. Rendering courtesy City of Holland

The Holland Civic Center is undergoing at least $14.15 million in renovations and expansions.

The 64-year-old building, at 150 W. Eighth St. in Holland, is growing from about 30,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.

The facility is receiving a “complete facelift,” according to Matt VanDyken, assistant to the city manager for Holland.

Renovations and additions include new seating, farmers market space improvements, an indoor market space, a new catering kitchen, additional space for sporting events, office space, a second-floor flex space, an enhanced entrance and lobby, updated locker room facilities and green room, enhanced audio and visual systems, and air conditioning installation.

The improvements also include ensuring the facility meets legal requirements and compliances.

The upgraded facility will be able to accommodate 1,500 people for sporting events and approximately 2,000 people for other events, such as concerts.

There are tentative plans for more than $4 million in external improvements, including a night market, parks on the northwest and southeast corners of the facility, additional farmers market upgrades, parking upgrades and landscaping improvements. These additional improvements depend on fundraising outcomes.

The amount raised so far was not disclosed, nor was a fundraising cap.

VanDyken said the upgrade would allow Holland residents to enjoy a more modern space when they go downtown. He thinks they will appreciate air conditioning during Tulip Time events, and the indoor market will allow businesses to sell year-round.

“People love to come to downtown Holland, and this is an extension of it,” he said.

One of the goals of the project is to create a multipurpose facility that can host a variety of events, like basketball games, concerts, wedding receptions, corporate parties and even family gatherings. He said the space will have the ability to host more than one event at a time and added the facility previously was used primarily for sporting events.

“It’s going to be another asset to an already great downtown,” VanDyken said. “It’s going to bring more people in and get more traffic up and down Eighth Street. It’ll also be an asset to the community so the people of the city of Holland have a place to go and feel like it’s their living room.”

The city has submitted a request for proposal in search of a company to manage the center’s operations and marketing. Information can be found on the city of Holland website, and proposals are due by 11 a.m. on Dec 13.

VanDyken said he hopes to have management in place as soon as possible to coordinate pre-opening events and marketing. The city’s recreation department previously managed it.

The development was spurred by a $2 million donation by Jim and Eileen Heeringa after they heard about the renovation plans on the radio, he said.

The project also has received a $1 million donation from Haworth, half of which is an in-kind furniture donation.

VanDyken said the building should be open starting late fall or early winter 2018, even after a floor collapsed in August, killing a construction worker and injuring another.

There has not been any economic or environmental impact study, though VanDyken said he believes the community is excited about the improvements especially now that people can walk by the site and see it in development.

The city of Holland has contracted Edgewater Resources to provide a team of architects, engineers, planners and landscape architects to facilitate the redevelopment. Edgewater is working with GMB Architecture + Engineering, based in Holland.

VanDyken said the upgraded center will be the “heart of the community,” and he looks forward to residents being able to use it.

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